Diddy’s Dumb Deed-Gets Elbowed by Black Women As he Seeks Lighskin Sistas


Diddy’s Dumb Deed-Gets Elbowed by Black Women As he Seeks Lighskin Sistas
By Pearl Jr.
Author, Black Women Need Love, Too!
Another attack on Black Women by one of our own! Diddy’s CIROC vodka sent out a cattle call looking for and I quote, “White, Hispanic and Light-skinned African American” women to represent his vodka. The arrogance to specify the type of Black woman has reached back to racism of the early 1900’s brown paper bag mentality.

The brown paper bag test was for admittance to Black social societies and certain, so-called, upscale parties. If a WOMAN was darker than a brown paper bag, she was disallowed to join certain social groups. This can be verified by watching old Black movies (usually in black and white) and you’ll see that nearly ALL females are light-skinned. Diddy’s Dumb Deed let’s us see that, even though, some progress has been made, real CHANGE has not occurred.

Imagine the mental abuse Black women must be going through thinking well, if I wear light foundation or bleach my skin through the night, I might be able to pull off being light-skinned, or dang I’m too dark; leading to self-hatred. Then imagine the thought processes in the waiting room with all the White and Hispanic women feeling superior because they are NOT melanin enriched and Black women feeling less confident because they are in doubt about their beauty and worth because of the color of their skin.

Furthermore, what would Diddy and/or his staff do when a dark-skinned woman showed up? Would “they” be rude and angrily reiterate that the requirement was for light-skinned Black women ONLY, and then she’d be shamed and embarrassed in front of the crowd of other women because she was told she wasn’t good enough due to her dark-skin?

What would Diddy do if Haley Berry showed up? She is technically a dark-skinned bi-racial woman. What about the beautiful Gabrielle Union, or modeling pioneers Grace Jones, Beverly Johnson, or Imaan? Would they be turned away because their skin was too dark?

And the biggest slap in the face would be the denial of our First Lady, Michelle Obama! She would, too, be turned away because she is not light-skinned, White or Hispanic.

There are so many racist ways of Hollywood, and yes, Diddy qualifies as a part of “Hollywood” because he is a celebrity. The propaganda in movies that seems to always match a Black man (with any useful skills) with a non-Black woman in videos, TV shows, and even blockbuster movies be THE catalyst for the lack of Black love within the Black race family? This propaganda campaign is using the age-old trick of dividing in order to conquer. How long are we going to keep falling for the same old tricks???

The only solution is to boycott racism in all forms, which means that under the devastating circumstances of the high amount of single Black woman/mothers, Black women should NEVER support anyone, especially Black men, that want to keep that status quo unchanged. The media and marketing executives will soon learn that to continue to devalue Black women will NOT render them much sought after profits.

And please, no one use the “it’s all about the money” excuse. Hell, slavery was “all about the money” and how many of us condone that behavior? Racism is racism, even when it’s racism within the same group, now called self-hate.

Well let’s use their own motivation to our favor, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense (cents)!” Don’t allow your hard-earned dollars to be used from anything that divides the Black race and weakens our already weaknesses.

There’s no acceptable denial for Diddy. In fact, he purposely omitted dark-skinned women and there’s proof. On the black and white TV ad for Diddy’s vodka already airing, it only includes light-skinned women. Diddy’s ignorance is astounding because his twin daughters are dark-skinned. He MUST not connect the dots that he is devaluing his own daughters and insulting his own momma!

Now, this falls right in line with the marketing of Diddy’s perfume too. As I was shopping in Macy’s over a year ago, I saw a large advertisement for Diddy’s perfume with Diddy in the middle of two non-Black women. I thought to myself, I guess my money isn’t good enough for him because that ad didn’t speak to me; as a matter of fact, it was insulting that he CHOSE NOT to use, AT LEAST, one Black woman in his ad.

Don’t these fools realize that Black women are their MAIN market and will support a Black male, especially one in the music industry, in a quick second IF THEY FELT CARED FOR? Well according to the US Census Bureau, there are about 112 million White females and only 20 million Black females, so if this marketing of Black men with non-Black women WORKED, then why is today’s Black music sales by Black men so dismal and declining fast and in a hurry? If non-Black women were truly ALL INTO BLACK MEN, then why are these types of marketing strategies NOT rendering much higher sales figures? There are about 130 million non-Black women and I just don’t see the omitting of Black women in the lives of Black men working and equating to 7X more sales. It seems MOST of “them” don’t realize Black women are Black men’s BIGGEST supporters. As a matter of fact, sales figures are doing the opposite, they are declining!

BlackMediaReview.com has been reviewing and tracing the sales figures of so-called Black movies and record sales for the past two and a half years religiously every week. Spike Lee, who is usually a shoe-in for making a profitable movie, failed miserable with his Miracle at St. Anna’s, where he promotes the heck out of Black men swooning over White women; so much so that I simply walked out the movie in disgust. The movie is his biggest loser to date.

Then examine the careers of Taye Diggs, Cedric the Entertainer and many others after they made shows/movies featuring non-Black women. They, too, are huge flops! Terrence Howard, who in an interview in Essence Magazine, a Black female publication, dissed Black women. Then when he released his debut album, his record sales were so low that many didn’t even check to see if he could sing or not. Black women just didn’t care and apparently, neither did non-Black women. His sales didn’t reach 60,000.

And since many people failed to realize that Michael Jackson suffers from the skin depigmenting disease, vitiligo, and seemed to have few Black friends, his sales have been declining for decades. And since he hired the Nation of Islam bodyguards during his trial, had a Black female publicist, was rumored to marry a Black African female, attended James Brown’s funeral and Jesse Jackson’s birthday party, he sold out nearly a million tickets in the United Kingdom in a matter of hours.

It seems even Whites respect people who respect themselves. Check out who Americans elected the President with the most votes in Presidential history? It’s a Black couple named Barack and Michelle Obama. The “sell-out” doesn’t work well for Black folks! Damn it, even proud sell-out Larry Elder, got cancelled due to his low TV and radio ratings.

Yes, people watched Will Smith’s movie, Hancock in large numbers, but he didn’t end up with that White girl at the end of the movie; besides the special effects and the magic of Will Smith’s charm works under nearly every circumstance, except for the movie, SEVEN POUNDS, where he is matched up with self-proclaimed Latina, Rosario Dawson (her last name sounds Black American and she’s quite dark-skinned as well). SEVEN POUNDS is one of his weakest films in recent history!

My “sistas” are finally waking up and no longer making excuses for self-haters. Black women have always purchased Black music, jerseys, and tennis shoes for their sons. Ladies, the proverbial “they” obviously believe we don’t have value, so we can keep our value in our purses. Why give money and power to those who don’t have value for you or, worse yet, don’t like you?

Well, the time has come to make a loud strong statement to celebrities, athletes, executive decision-makers, and anyone else NEEDING to please loads of people, that if you don’t like us, we don’t like you, or better yet, we’ll spend it on people that are showing some signs of support for our community and we’ll pay their bills.

We can forgive, but only with ACTIONS!

So last night a talent management company for Ciroc–Imperative Talent Management–sent out a casting call notice to their mailing list. Ciroc is taping a new commercial on Friday with Diddy and they listed their requirements. And if you fail the paper bag test, you need not apply:

From: info@imperativemgt.com
Subject: Promo girls needed!!!
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 9:49 PM

Ciroc Promotion

Ciroc promo is this Friday, March 27, 2009
Time: 3:00pm – 7:00pm and 12:00am – 3:00am


Race: White, hispanic or light skinned african american
Height: At least 5’6 or taller
Size 7 or smaller.

This is a cash @ wrap job and the booking will be thru our partner. Please submit asap. Talent will only be contacted if the client is interested in booking you!!!

Compensation: $35.00 per hour

Imperative Talent Management
3500 Lenox Road, Suite 1500
Atlanta, GA 30326
404-419-2565 Office
404-419-2564 Office

Sadly enough, I’m not even surprised. Let the sh*tstorm ensue. Expecting a PTwitty response in 5…4…3…

UPDATE: Ciroc’s PR folks tell TheYBF.com the following:

representative of the company called and sent me two statements that were issued 3/26/09. Ciroc stated:

CIROC Vodka has nothing whatsoever to do with this inappropriate and offensive casting call, which was done without the brand’s knowledge or consent. We are taking action in response to this issue as CIROC has never worked with the company in question. We find this particularly deplorable and outrageous because it goes against everything we stand for as a brand and a company and everything our campaign has been about. CIROC Vodka has created a brand that defines sophisticated celebration for all consumers, and in no way condones this despicable practice.
The talent agency that forwarded the casting call states:

Imperative Talent Management would like publicly clear any confusion that was caused by an email that was sent out to our talent that might have been forwarded outside of our database. We are a management company that books talent for promotional opportunities, and our booking agents aggressively search the net daily for modeling jobs. The promo job in question was found at <http://www.ethnicitytalent.com/castings_search.php> http://www.ethnicitytalent.com/castings_search.php and we forwarded to our talent. We have since learned that this posting was in no way authorized, supported, or endorsed by CIROC or Diddy. It wasn’t our intention to discredit CIROC Vodka in any way, and since learning of the postings inaccuracies, have revised it on our database and alerted everyone in our database to the error.

All of us can see the problem with these two statements: no one at Ciroc or Imperative is taking responsibility for the misconduct. Someone either authorized the casting call or failed to supervise the person(s) who issued the casting call, and those person(s) were not fired. Usually, in these kinds of incidents, a junior person is sacrificed, but even that step wasn’t taken here. No one was held responsible.

As we know, this kind of discrimination happens all the time, but this time someone put it in writing, albeit without Ciroc’s or Sean Combs’ consent.

The talent agency characterized this written posting as containing “inaccuracies” when, in fact, race and color discrimination in employment has been unlawful in New York State since 1962 and nationally since 1964.

Thus, it’s hard to credit statements that appear to:
blame persons unknown
hold nobody accountable, and
do nothing to prevent recurrences.

MMTC is not going to get involved in the matter – it’s not what we do – but I did want to be responsive to our many wonderful and alert members who’ve called and e-mailed today asking for a civil rights analysis of the matter. The bottom line is that this is unlawful. Those who didn’t exercise adequate supervision should be fired, and both the sponsor and the agency should take aggressive steps to ensure that there can be no recurrences.

Regardless of who authorized it or who knows who, this memo from Ciroc was still sent out by this agency as well as many others. And it’s still a mess

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Does The Music Industry Need A Bail Out Plan?

Trials of a Hip Hop Educator:
Accepting Responsibility to Build a New Music Community
Does The Music Industry Need A Bail Out Plan? – Part II

By Tony Muhammad

tonymuhammedchitown-225In the midst of Congress attempting to pass legislation specifically to recoup $165 million in bonuses that has scandalously gone to AIG executives, the House Judiciary Committee is seeking to pass H.R. 848, the Performance Rights Act. Under this law radio stations would be required to pay royalties to artists for the music they air. According to NAB Radio Board Chairman Steve Newberry, the current economic downturn has already forced radio stations nation-wide to layoff a considerable amount of employees and reduce wages by 5 to 10 percent. He warned in his testimony to the House that if the bill is passed, it will put a whole industry “at risk.” The radio industry currently employs nearly 106,000 people but yet is on the verge of bankruptcy, reporting billions of dollars in losses every year. Newberry adds that if the bill is passed it would force many radio stations to switch to more of a “talk show” format and make them even less diverse in their play lists. Currently radio stations throughout the country, especially ones that are oriented towards “urban” and “pop” music genres are criticized for almost strictly playing from top 25 Billboard chart playlists consistently and monotonously hour to hour. Under current circumstances, local artists receive very little to no play on local stations. The passing of H.R. 848 would most certainly make matters worse.

Most interestingly and most critically, Newberry said in his testimony that “At its heart, this bill attempts to create a conflict between artists and radio stations where no conflict exists. In reality, local radio has been supporting the music industry for decades.” He continued by saying that it “boggles” his mind that “a bill that is supposed to be about benefiting artists, takes 50 percent of the performance fee and puts it into the pockets of the big four record labels, most of which are not even American companies.” These four companies are Warner Music Group, EMI, Sony and Universal Music Group.

He argues that in the end “the record labels actually walk away with more money under this bill than do the featured artists.” “The real problem, which this bill does not address,” according to Newberry, “is between the artists and these mega-record labels. Artists, often find themselves in such difficult financial straights because of the one-sided, unfair contracts they signed with their record label. If these artists had fair contracts with their labels that included fair royalty clauses, they would have benefited from the promotional value of free radio airplay that they should have enjoyed.”

After so many years (especially in the past 10) of the radio industry contributing to the problem of musical monotony in expression and form and moral degradation in the content of not just the music, but on the part of many of its “urban” on-air commentators, why is it expressing all of a sudden such a strong concern for the artists that have received the short end of the stick in the whole process? The answer is because now a threat on its very survival is being made not simply by Congress, but by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that has pushed the idea of a “need” of such a bill on behalf of the four major record labels.

Truly, the old system is destroying itself from within. These major record labels are collapsing just like the radio industry is; also reporting billions of dollars in losses every year. At this point they seek to “squeeze blood out of a turnip” in any way that they can, wherever they can find it, even if it comes at the expense of hurting relationships with websites that could aid in promoting their music and even its historic prized relationship with the radio industry. For many years the radio industry has benefited from underhanded payola (“pay for play”) deals with the recording industry. Payola deals in other words are bribes that are disguised in the form of (for example) “consulting fees” or “record pools” with radio DJs or sponsorship for the wrapping of radio station vans in exchange for the frequent playing of particular artists’ music.

Between 2005 and 2006 New York State Attorney General at the time Eliot Spitzer prosecuted payola-related crimes in his jurisdiction. Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group each settled out of court with Spitzer and agreed to pay $10 million, $5 million, and $12 million respectively to New York State charitable causes that work in the name of music education and appreciation programs. EMI is still under investigation for such activities. Now, if this was the case just within New York State, imagine all other places where similar activities have taken place and no investigation has ever been conducted. When pop and urban radio sounds almost the same no matter where you travel in the country, contain the same music playlists and in many cases have the same over-consumerist unintelligent expression it means that everywhere someone has been strategically sent behind the scenes to cash in on the peoples’ ignorance.

As I emphasized in PART ONE, many at times the music by-itself is not simply the product for sale; but much more so the jewelry, the apparel and the liquor emphasized in the song lyrics. Do not be surprised if the next stage of commercial-music survival will involve an adapting to brief radio announcements regarding the corporations that are sponsoring the artists showcased. It would sound something like … “And now this artist is brought to you by ….” Don’t think it can’t happen because we are increasingly and rapidly moving towards very desperate economic times. For many of us, especially in the music industry, those times are already here and they are about to get worse. Think about it! Very few artists nowadays make a substantial income on just the music alone. The most successful ones, by and large, depend on endorsement deals in order to live “lush.”

However, with the economy the way that it is, new up-coming artists and all current lime light artists that bind themselves like slaves to corporations (including the major record labels themselves) will fall just as the economy that they are so dependant on will continue to fall. In truth, the new model for artists and generally Hip Hoppers of today and of the future is (as I was discussing with artist NY Oil very recently on a phone conversation) to connect themselves with a cause – just as Wise Intelligent mentors youth in educational and music recreational programs through Intelligent Kidz and MEEN in New Jersey and Philadelphia, PA; just as the art of breaking is preserved through the efforts of Rokafella and Kwikstep of Full Circle Productions as they continuously instruct talented New York City at-risk youth to strive to reach their potential not just in the area of dance but in all aspects of life; just as Jasiri X works diligently towards establishing community justice through One Hood in Pittsburgh, PA; just as Hip Hop journalist and activist Davey D continues to expose the harsh socio-political obstacles we are all faced with byway of his own news website DaveyD.com; just as community organizer Adisa Banjoko is uprooting youth into excellence through The Hip Hop Chess Federation in the California Bay Area –

Locally we all must play our part while having a national and a global vision of unity as to what we want our future to be. As conscientious artists and Hip Hoppers in general increasingly introduce cultural arts and literacy programs in the schools, the community centers and even the juvenile detention halls, they will most certainly cause an effect in the manner the youth perceive both the world and themselves. They will begin to gravitate towards what’s real and beneficial and step by step abandon what’s artificial and detrimental to themselves and others. By putting in the necessary community-oriented work, conscientious artists and their music will naturally build a following and guarantee longevity in the support of their craft. Besides the potential world-wide success that comes with proper Internet promotion byway of ever-growing social networking outlets, the development and maintenance of local relationships is key towards establishing local success. This would entail, as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan noted nearly 30 years ago at the 4th Annual Jack-The Rapper Conference in Atlanta, GA, the development of alternative music distribution centers in the community (including religious institutions) that support positive expression through music. Dependence on major music stores such as Specs and FYE is fruitless since they are also on the verge of financial collapse and do not serve to promote local and conscientious music much anyway.

By working together we can develop a new model for how a music industry should run; one that would mutually benefit communities and artists. At which point radio stations will have no other choice but to take notice and move the direction community would be moving. This is possible if we desire it to be. We must begin qualifying ourselves to be able to bring it into existence.

More to come next time through Allah’s (God’s) permission!

Tony Muhammad teaches American, African American and African History at an inner-city high school in Miami and is currently involved in efforts to reform The African American Voices Curriculum for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2008).